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MLB Rumors: Francisco Liriano Is A Frustrating Lottery Ticket

The Kevin Youkilis trade has finally stirred up my favorite kind of MLB trade rumors—the ones matching dinged-up veterans looking for a shot at renewed glory with dinged-up teams looking for one more warm body to throw between themselves and the edge of non-contention. The St. Louis Cardinals have dealt with their own injuries pretty well, so far, but if Chris Carpenter's injury setbacks continue as they have, they might need another pitcher to set down behind Joe Kelly and whichever relievers they want to keep. Enter the trade deadline's most frustrating player: Francisco Liriano, who for a few months in 2006 might have been the best pitcher on the planet.

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Now he's—well, he's a guy who's had one good year and three bad ones since returning from the injury that abruptly ended those few months, and the Minnesota Twins would probably be happy to send him off for the kind of package that just sent Youkilis to the White Sox. I'm not sure if it's come to this in Liriano's mind, but I'll only note that he has a generous-sized platoon split and the Cardinals have a yen for left-handed relievers and swingmen that's seen them audition the likes of J.C. Romero and Brandon Dickson, respectively.

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That's a far cry from the best pitcher on the planet, but I wouldn't mind the Cardinals trading some flotsam for the chance to upgrade the bullpen and, for a few months, preach the Dave Duncan Gospel to a guy who briefly didn't need it.

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